Last weekend witnessed Newcastle Eagles’ star ‘Prince’ Charles Smith pass a magical milestone.
For the veteran forward became only the seventeenth player in history to surpass 5,000 points in the BBL Championship.
Recognised as one of the best scorers of the modern era, Smith is not only a bona-fide Newcastle Eagles legend, but also a player who can be put up there with the very best to have trodden the BBL boards.
Smith passed the landmark at Sport Central last Friday, as the Eagles cruised past Cheshire Phoenix 95-69.
He claimed 18 points in the victory and ironically, it came against one of the players above him in the list – former Eagles’ forward Shawn Myers.
It also turned out to be a case of a double celebration for the player, since he followed it up just 48 hours later with a marvellous 29 point BBL Cup haul against UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders which also secured him a place in the BBL Team Of The Week.
Newcastle Eagles’ Managing Director Paul Blake has paid tribute to Smith, who of course almost didn’t return to Tyneside after having opted to hang up his BBL shoes and head Stateside after playing for the club in various stints for the best part of a decade.
“Charles is certainly a living legend” insisted Blake.
“He is easily up there with TJ Walker, Lynard Stewart and Jeremy Hyatt in terms of what he has delivered for the Eagles and the legacy he continues to build.
“We have all lost count of how many times over the years he has come up with big performances when it has mattered, and consequently the pivotal role he has had in helping the club win so many BBL Championship titles down the years.”
He added, “Replacing him will be impossible when the times comes, but thankfully he isn’t finished just yet, and it is not just his scoring which we all love, but also the durability he has shown and the personality he also has.
“It’s not surprising he’s such a huge favourite and the fans love him so much – I hope he goes on to pass many more milestones.”
Smith is back in action tonight against UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders when the Eagles try to book their place in the BBL Cup Final – a competition which Smith was crowned MVP of last season, after his record breaking 39 points helped secure the trophy.